Power Moment: Monali Thakur
She may regret losing Deewani Mastani to our other Power List singer, Shreya Ghoshal, but Kolkata-born Monali Thakur has had her fair share of success, from Sawaar Loon (Lootera) to Zara Zara Touch Me (Race) and the now-National-Award-winning Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Dum Laga Ke Haisha). From having placed ninth on Indian Idol 2 to being a judge on Bengali Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs, she is part of the small percentage of reality show success stories.
Head start: “I have been in the Bollywood music industry for the last eight years, but I have been singing since I was very young. My first single was recorded when I was six years old.”
Early musical influences: “My mother, father, sister and my guruji, the late Pandit Jagdish Prasad.”
Making noise: “When I heard about the award, I was in an aircraft and we had just landed in Mumbai. I just screamed with joy and made sure everyone in the plane knew that I had won a National Award!”
Obstacle course: “I used to be meticulous about the kind of performance that I gave and, due to that, I would get very nervous, which led to stage fear. I had to work towards overcoming apprehension; towards putting my soul and life experiences into the songs, and making them my own. This I learnt with age and I’m still learning.”
Contentment quotient: “I love people who are enthusiastic about the small things in life. Another thing which brings me great joy is completing a project — the feeling of knowing that you have given your 120 per cent to it.”
Power is…. “Self-control.”
What we don’t know: “Dance is a big passion in my life, on par with singing. People would be surprised to know that I’m a health fanatic too.”
Mood-enhancing tune: “Happy by Pharrell Williams.”
Quotable quote: “‘When you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too,’ said Denzel Washington in The Equalizer.”
Read about our next power woman, Shreya Ghoshal.